Trump Financial Disclosure: Trump broke with tradition and refused to release his tax returns during the 2016 campaign. Many speculated that his financial records may include evidence of wrongdoing, or ties to foreign governments.
As the investigation into his relationship with Russia intensifies, Trump released some telling financial information. While he did not make public his complete tax returns, he did disclose hundreds of millions in dollars in income from a wide array of business ventures.
The financial disclosure form spanned 98 pages and was released officially by the Office of Government Ethics. It covers select dealings from January 2016 to April 2017.
The incomplete nature of the document leaves many questions unanswered. Some speculate that this is an attempt to assuage public concerns about potential corruption. However, without a full financial record such as a tax return, there is no guarantee that Trump is not omitting potentially incriminating information.
Trump’s Financial form shows:
- $288 million in income from golf courses
- $11 million from the Miss Universe pageant
- up to $5 million on a recent book deal.
He made $37.2 million from Mar-O-Lago, the resort that he regularly visits on weekends and has used to host foreign leaders during his early tenure as President. The membership fee has doubled since Trump became President.
He also profited $19.7 million from his luxury Washington hotel, which has been criticized as a way for foreign leaders to indirectly pay him.
The financial report depicts $600 to $650 million total in assets.
The White House statement said that President Trump “welcomed the opportunity” to “voluntarily” release this information. However, given the ongoing controversy surrounding his tax returns, many are skeptical.
“It’s particularly important that he made the voluntary filing in view of the fact we don’t have tax returns,” said Ken Gross, a Washington business ethics lawyer.
“We still don’t know the extent or sources of foreign emoluments, the identity of all his investors, partners and financial actors involved in his businesses, the purchasers, including possibly foreign ones of his condos and other properties,” added Norman Eisen, a former ethics lawyer for President Obama.
Eisen raises the point that while this release makes for good public relations, there are still many questions surrounding this young Trump presidency.